Craftspeople around the world are dedicating their lives to becoming master craftsmen and working towards a new cultural movement around the values essential to their work. The importance of arts and crafts has been crucial to the economic and cultural fabric of different countries for centuries, both as a heritage of undisputed value and as an advantage in a competitive context. The Michelangelo Foundation for Creativity and Craftsmanship has decided to pay tribute to these genius creators with an online exhibition dedicated to the "Paper Clothes Creators", artists Asya Kozina and Dmitriy Kozin.
According to the latest results of the online survey of the network of chambers of trades and crafts (CMA), 95% of artisans are affected by the coronavirus crisis.. As far as art craftsmen are concerned, Ateliers d'Art de France (AAF) has just launched its second online survey aimed at identifying as closely as possible the problems encountered by professionals in the arts and crafts sector in the context of the health crisis. In March, the professional organization had carried out an inventory of containment. This study had highlighted a number of paralysing difficulties for craftsmen and craftswomen in a real state of emergency: cancellation of events (fairs, markets, shows, etc.), workshops closed to the public, supply problems, difficulty in accessing aid, etc.
The Michelangelo Foundation for Creativity and Craftsmanship is dedicated to honouring and preserving the world's craftsmanship, while working to strengthen its links with the world of contemporary design. Rooted in a tradition of culture and excellence, aware of the realities and challenges of today's global economy, the foundation supports these talented men and women. It presents on its website the work of two geniuses of scissors and paper.
Japanese & Yaruba Costumes, Asya Kozina and Dmitriy Kozin Artisans ©All rights reserved
Based in St. Petersburg, Russia, Asya Kozina and Dmitriy Kozin form an artistic creative duo that is committed to exploring the multiple possibilities of contemporary paper sculpture. Founded in 2007, the tandem works on projects of international dimension and exhibits its creations around the world, including at the State Toy Museum in Kiev, the Surgut Museum of Art, the Domodedovsky Museum of Art History and the Conciergerie in Paris.
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Her fascination with fashion and its history has made Asya Kozina want to capture details observed on clothes and accessories from bygone eras and other cultures. Together with her husband Dmitriy Kozin, who designs and draws each piece, they form a creative and dynamic duo whose work does not go unnoticed, whether in the world of paper art or in the fashion world. Their hands and imagination are at the origin of the exceptional contemporary paper sculptures that have paraded on the catwalks, including that of Dolce&Gabbana, and are exhibited worldwide.
In their workshop on the outskirts of St. Petersburg, Asya and Dmitriy transform the ordinary material of paper into extraordinary works. Their latest collection consists of imposing baroque wigs, topped with finely crafted miniature worlds that mix symbols of modernity with historical references. At the time, the wigs were already adorned with exotic fruits, flowers and even stuffed birds. The paper creations made by Asya and Dmitriy remain faithful to the aesthetics of this period, while incorporating more unexpected elements such as skyscrapers, ships or airplanes. Their latest work is a punk wig with baroque accents that is sure to catch the eye.
These works astonish us by their attention to detail and their immense complexity. They become all the more remarkable when we know that the tools used by the two artists are limited to a simple pair of scissors and a scalpel. It is thanks to the immense skill of Asya and Dmitriy that these fantastic and futuristic paper creations come to life. Drawing, cutting, twisting, shaping and collage... they are the result of a meticulously repeated ballet of precise gestures, which are the sign of a mastery acquired after years of practice.
" I love the feeling of creative freedom that comes from the white sheet of paper. It is a symbol of perfection and eternity, ", explains Asya Kozina.
Detail of creation, Asya Kozina et Dmitriy Kozin Artisans ©All rights reserved
The duo has created custom-made pieces for many renowned brands: horses as pieces for a life-size chess game or variations of traditional Japanese clothing for a prestigious wallpaper house to underline the link between paper and textiles. They have also enchanted us with their own collection of delicately worked wedding dresses, inspired by traditional Mongolian cultural costumes. The creative possibilities seem endless and the prospects for the future are undoubtedly as radiant as the immaculate white of their paper masterpieces.
The aim of the Foundation is to help people discover the craftsmen and the singular stories behind their unique masterpieces, through a series of initiatives that will soon be relayed on a platform bringing together a large number of art craftsmen in Europe. A platform that will serve as a guide and the aim of trips to be organised according to one's own interests and to plunge into the world of master craftsmen, to learn more about their creative processes, their studios, their tools and their individual creative and craft paths: meetings, workshop visits, ...throughout Europe.
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